Flavour Components

When it comes to flavour there are mainly three things that matter, the Type of the Flavour, the Flavour Intensity, and the Flavour Persistency. As with Texture, when it comes to Flavour you can aim either for a match or for a contrast.

Overall, Flavour Pairing is the icing on the cake. A failed Flavour pairing will not ruin a pairing experience like a failed Taste or Texture pairing can. But done correctly it can also bring the tasting experience to new hights and allow you to experience a true Synergistic Match.

Wine

The complexity of flavours in wine is in big part what has made wine so popular.
Depending on one’s nose and creativity one can find a vast array of aromas
and subsequently flavours in wine.

Type of Flavour

The most common main groups are listed below, under which most common wine aromas can be found:

  • Earthy
  • Woody
  • Caramel
  • Nutty
  • Herbaceous or Vegetative
  • Fruity
  • Spicy
  • Floral
  • Microbiological (lactic, yeasty)
  • Oxidized
  • Pungent
  • Chemical

Wine can be used to spice up a dish, like adding a spice component to the food (like plain Fish served with Sauvignon Blanc), or it can be used as a matching component, where one can identify the same flavours in the wine and food (Truffles and Nebbiolo).

Flavour Intensity and Flavour Persistency

More important than actual flavours are the intensity of flavours and their persistency. If a wine is dominated by one strong flavour, that one of course has to be taken into consideration. A wine with high flavour intensity should preferably be paired with a dish of equal intensity, as to not overwhelm it, and vice versa.

Food

When we discus flavours in food, every flavour component
on the plate has to be taken into consideration,
to ensure a good match.

Type of Flavour

In food you can find almost any flavour, and your job is to distinguish the most dominant ones and then decide what you wish to do with them.

Flavour Intensity and Flavour Persistency

Again, balance when it comes to flavour intensity and persistency in the wine and food, are what is most important. Or a conscious choice to let one of them be the dominant part of the pairing.

The only thing you have to be carful with is spices, hot spices that is. Savoury spices (like cumin or cinnamon) are not a problem in the same way. They still have to be respected and considered, but they rarely ruin a dish like hot spices can do (see Texture Components for more information about hot spices).

If you like your savoury spices, play with matching them with components in the wine. Coriander and Dill for instance are amazing with the flavour profile of a new world Sauvignon Blanc, while Ginger in the food enhances certain flavours in Riesling and Gewürztraminer.